There Are Jews in My House: A Reading and Conversation with Lara Vapnyar

Winner of the Goldberg Prize for Jewish Fiction by Emerging Writers

Lara Vapnyar
Wednesday, November 3 2010 @ 5:15 pm
Rapaporte Treasure Hall,
Goldfarb Library
Open to the public.

Novelist and short story writer Lara Vapnyar read and spoke at Brandeis under the auspices of the Brandeis-Genesis Institute. Lara Vapnyar is lauded by many critics as one of the most promising new literary voices in the nation.  She emigrated from Moscow in 1994. Her first English-language work was published in 2002. Her 2004 collection of short stories, There Are Jews in My House, won the 2004 Goldberg Prize for Jewish Fiction by Emerging Writers. Her stories have been published in such magazines as The New Yorker, the New York Observer, and Harper's Magazine. She has also published Broccoli and Other Tales of Food and Love and Memoirs of a Muse.

The main event featured a reading of her story "Salad Olivier" and a conversation about life, love, and literature with Professor Irina Dubinina, director of the Russian Language Program at Brandeis.  Ms. Vapnyar spoke about the trials of growing up Jewish in the Soviet Union,  the "liberating" effect of writing in English, her second language, and the challenges of speaking both to a Russian-American and broader American reading audience.

Earlier in the day, Ms. Vapnyar met with graduate students in Near Eastern and Judaic Studies, and visited Professor Dubinina's class, "Russian for Heritage Speakers."

This event was sponsored by the Brandeis-Genesis Institute for Russian Jewry (BGI).  Co-sponsored by Creative Writing, the Hadassah-Brandeis Institute, Near Eastern and Judaic Studies, and Russian Studies.